Open Access Working With EMDR in Chronic Incapacitating Diseases: The Experience of a Neuromuscular Diseases Center

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This article examines the use of EMDR in a rehabilitation center to deal with traumatic experiences associated with serious incapacitating disease. Through clinical examples, the author describes the utility and function of EMDR treatment in helping both patients and their families overcome the frightening events related to the worsening of the illness and in helping them cope with feelings of loss and separation. The usefulness of attachment theory for a better comprehension of the dysfunctional interpersonal patterns that can arise between family members is discussed. In addition, the importance of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is explored in helping to facilitate secure attachment relationships between patients and their caregivers, allowing the families to grow closer and more supportive. EMDR appears to offer specific advantages in treating this especially difficult population, affording patients who live with a chronic condition of extreme physical vulnerability a sense of greater control over their own bodies and therefore over their own lives.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2009

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  • The Journal of EMDR Practice and Research is a quarterly, peer-reviewed publication devoted to integrative, state-of-the-art papers about Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a broadly conceived interdisciplinary journal that stimulates and communicates research and theory about EMDR, and their application to clinical practice.
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